Communication

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Communicating effectively with your elder is the first step in the Dr. Marion Method. Every time the lines of communication are unclear or broken off, your ability to make smart decisions is hampered. This could lead to arguments with loved ones, expecting the impossible from doctors, or your elder could become irritated by a situation you thought you had under control. It is crucial to implement a communication strategy that gets to the truth of your elder’s situation.

Your communication efforts should begin with a one-on-one discussion with your elder in order to figure out what issues need to be addressed. Start by building trust. Your elder has to know that you understand his or her values, struggles, and identity. Once you understand a senior's mentality, needs, and ability limits, you will be amazed at how much easier it is to communicate on a daily basis.

Not all communication issues are simple. It can be difficult and even awkward to talk about the sensitive issues, but it is necessary. Be extra sensitive about how you bring up unresolved history. Bringing up such subjects can cause your elder to tune you out or become upset. What happened in the past happened then, and people have their own perspective of what occurred. Always facilitate open and honest dialogue, and never suppress things your elder wants to discuss.

An important part of communication doesn’t just involve your elder, but all those who are involved in his or her life. Speak with your elder’s family, neighbors, landlord, doctor, and friends. Broadening the lines of communication will give you a more complete picture of your elder’s true condition and allow you to be an informed caregiver.

Read the caregiver questions and answers below to find a situation similar to yours.

 

Senior Communication Q&A

 

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